Prep Baseball Report

2019 Draft Superlatives

Nathan Rode and David Seifert
Prep Baseball Report

The 2019 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away. The Hotlist takes a look at some of the superlatives in the entire draft class—high school and college. Below are several categories and the best respective players in each.

BEST ATHLETE: SS C.J. Abrams (Blessed Trinity Catholic HS, GA) and SS Greg Jones (UNC-Wilmington) ooze quick-twitch actions, bounce around the field with ease and have top-of-the-scale speed. OF Jerrion Ealy (Jackson Prep, AL) is committed to Mississippi as a running back. OF Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) was once a wide receiver recruit and C Adley Rutschman (Oregon State) was a kicker on the Beaver football team as a freshman.

BEST PURE HITTER: Rutschman hit .408 as a sophomore and has seen his average go up this season, despite losing protection in the lineup. 1B Andrew Vaughn (California) hit .402 last year and won the Golden Spikes Award. He gets high marks for his ability to hit to all fields. OF J.J. Bleday(Vanderbilt) projects to hit for a high average. OF Riley Greene (Hagerty HS, FL) has long been considered the top hitter in the high school class. SS Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville Heritage HS, TX), OF Corbin Carroll (Lakeside School, WA), 3B Brett Baty (Lake Travis HS, TX) and 3B Tyler Callihan(Providence School, FL) also project to hit for average.

BEST POWER HITTER: Bleday broke Pedro Alvarez’s single season home run record at Vanderbilt, finishing the regular season with 25. Vaughn has 70 raw power to all fields and Bishop’s is plus-plus as well. Baty can leave the yard to all fields with ease. 3B Rece Hinds (IMG Academy, FL) has near top-of-the-scale raw power.

FASTEST RUNNER: Jones and Abrams are both at least 70 runners. OF Gabe Holt (Texas Tech) can get down the line in 4.0 seconds from the left side.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: 2B Mike Massey (Illinois) has made one error the last two years. Rutschman is a plus defender. C Cooper Johnson (Mississippi) has long been known for his prowess behind the dish. Witt Jr., Carroll and SS Nasim Nunez (Collins Hill HS, GA) all project to be at least above-average defenders at premium positions.

BEST ARM: Part of Johnson’s defensive prowess comes from his rocket launcher arm. Witt Jr. has a plus arm.

BEST FASTBALL: RHPs Andrew Schultz (Tennessee) and Jackson Rutledge (San Jacinto JC) have both flirted with triple digits this season, as has RHP Daniel Espino (Georgia Premier Academy, GA). RHP Adam Lukas (Evansville) has hit 100.

BEST SECONDARY: LHP Zack Thompson (Kentucky) has an above average curveball, slider and changeup. RHP Ryan Pepiot (Butler) has shown a plus curveball and plus-plus changeup. RHPs Matt Allan (Seminole HS, FL) and Brennan Malone (IMG Academy, FL) spin above-average to plus curveballs. RHP J.J. Goss (Cypress Ranch HS, TX) has a potential plus slider. RHP Jack Leiter(Delbarton School, NJ) has a 12/6 hook that locks hitters up, but he can also get them to chase a wipeout slider.

BEST COMMAND: RHP George Kirby (Elon) walked just six batters in 82.2 regular season innings. In 92.1 innings, RHP Garrett Stallings (Tennessee) had 13. LHPs Avery Short (Southport HS, IN) and Blake Walston (New Hanover HS, NC) also throw a high volume of strikes.

BEST BACKGROUND: RHP Noah Song (Navy) has first-round stuff, but he has to fulfill his military service commitment and was accepted to flight school, where he hopes to become a helicopter pilot. Witt Jr. and Leiter are the sons of former big leaguers. RHP Alex MacFarlane (Habersham Central HS, GA), originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands, moved to Georgia to live with a host family after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean islands. His mother competed in the Olympics in Tae Kwan Do and his father was a sprinter in the Pan-American Games.


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